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An introduction to Microblogging

I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of times that starting and consistently maintaining a blog can do wonders for your business. I’m not here to convince you of that. Anyone like Marie Forleo, Lisa Congdon, Jason Zook, Danielle LaPorte, and countless other creative entrepreneurs in the digital space are proof of this. Even as I was writing this, I’m taking my own medicine and creating the first posts for my own blog.

Still, that’s not to say that blogging is easy and comes naturally for everyone. I would even say, for most people, writing content is one of the most confronting parts of your business.

This whole marketing puzzle can feel very formulaic and, sure, you might even know all the steps you need to put in place to build a funnel, but when it comes down to really writing the damn thing, often you’re blocked. You’re stuck. The words. just. won’t. come. out. And, that’s a really stinky feeling, especially when you know all that blogging can bring you.

So, here’s where I share a little nuggo’ of wisdom.  There are some very fun and low barrier ways to dip your toe into the world of blogging before taking the full leap. One of the best ways is microblogging.

microblogging definition

Microblogging is a fairly new phenomenon taking place on social media.

Essentially, it takes out all the bigger questions that come with ‘traditional’ blogging and leaves you with the freedom to share short-form ideas and thoughts where people will see them more easily and immediately.

So, where can you microblog? Mainly, I see the best cases on Instagram, but there are a lot of other gorgeous examples of this on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

Almost two years ago, I saw this quote from @randizuckerberg in @incmagazine, describing the life of an entrepreneur. Paraphrased, it went like this: "Work. Family. Friends. Sleep. Exercise. Pick three." This world prove one of the most important pieces of advice I’ve ever heard, and it’s saving my sanity (and my health) again as I recover from book tour. • It's a huge relief to accept that in any given day, NO I CAN’T do it all—and it’s an enormous joy to give up trying. As I try to settle back into a routine at home, under-slept, buried in the work I missed while I was out on tour, missing family and friends, I've gratefully embraced that I can only do three out of five really well at any one time. I've also become highly skilled at keeping them fluid from day to day. • Mostly, right now, it’s family, sleep, and exercise. Work is getting handled as I have capacity, but I have zero problem saying, “I’m underwater. I have no margin. This will have to wait.” And while friends are extending invitations, one-on-one time with my son is my priority. But if one of my three has to go; if works presses or an important person comes to town, bye-bye exercise. Never sleep. NEVER, EVER SLEEP, because if I’m chronically under-slept, it ALL goes to hell in a handbasket. • I do try to buck the system, though, by combining factors; friends + exercise (including church), family + friends, friends + work. It's not about picking three forever and ever; it's about realizing I have to choose EVERY SINGLE DAY what to be good at, because "all" is not an option. • This framework has completely changed how I think about managing my time, my priorities, and my energy. What I've learned in the process: Stop trying to do/be/have it all. Aggressively protect your own health. Do whatever you need to do to rebuild those buffers. And don't apologize for it. • #melissarants #youhavefivepickthree (Message board: @letterfolkco)

A post shared by Melissa Hartwig (@melissa_hartwig) on

The beauty of microblogging is that the format is pretty standard. You need an eyecatching photo or video (sometimes these images actually have nothing to do with the content of the post, but I would recommend that yours do when possible). You are limited, in the best way possible, to the bounds of a simple text box and of course you can use hashtags and emojis. If you’re like me, emojis will be abundant.

Limited doesn’t feel like the right word here; to be honest, it feels more like being freed. There’s no email marketing, newsletter writing, blog formatting, or SEO optimization to think about. I will be one of the first to sing the praises of all of those things and they definitely have their place. But, when you are trying to grow your writing and idea/opinion sharing practice and make it more routine, microblogging can be an incredibly freeing and helpful practice.

And, like I mentioned before, people are already following you in those spaces. You don’t need to chase anyone down, convince them to click through, open an email, or get them to take any action. They simply need to have chosen to follow you on social media.

If you do a good job of writing a strong pair of first few lines, then you’ve got their interest. Even better, if they love or resonate with those words in any way, there’s a high possiblity that they will leave a comment and share your words with someone they know. Often, followers will save them for a tough day when they need to hear those words again. This is how you build your authentic voice.

So many new followers in the past week that I thought I’d say hello 👋🏼 I’m a self taught illustrator & fine artist and I didn’t start my career till I was 40 (I just turned 50 last week!). Before I was a professional artist I worked in education, first as a 1st grade teacher & then as a project manager at a non profit organization working in public schools. I started painting and drawing for fun when I was 32 years old. I fell in love with the magic of the creative process and that love has helped me get through the tough parts of building a career as an artist (of which there are many). Eventually I left my job to make art for a living in 2007. I live and work in Portland, Oregon with my wife Clay and my dog Wilfredo & cat Margaret. We moved here three years ago from San Francisco. I am passionate about social justice, equity & inclusion and I founded & help run a group of creatives in Portland who are LGBTQ & People of Color with my friends Eugenie and Victor. In my art practice, I work in both traditional media (ink, gouache and acrylic) and digital media (I also draw on my iPad with Procreate, which I taught myself how to do last year). I illustrate for clients all over the world, I am the author of seven books & I teach many online art & business classes. I am a Capricorn and an optimist (my mom says I can find the treasure in the pile of shit every time). I love Scandinavian design, traveling, reading books of all genres, going to spin class, swimming (I used to swim competitively) & watching crime dramas. I have lots of weird collections. I also have a thing for tigers, rabbits & dogs and have all three tattooed on my body. Instagram is my happy place. Glad you’re here too. Photo by my dear friend & incredible talent @dibblephoto ❤️❤️❤️

A post shared by Lisa Congdon (@lisacongdon) on

Microblogging allows you to get a taste for blogging, experimenting with different themes, and create a writing practice for yourself. All the while, you’re building your voice and sharing your vision with your followers. These are all things you’ll need when you commit fully to blogging. Depending on yourself and your business, it might even happen that you get enough fulfillment from microblogging that you just keep doing that. Plenty of great thought leaders are doing the same.

Before I sign off here, I want to share a disclaimer. Please do not fall into the trap of trying to share only inspiring messages or turn yourself into a social media life-coach. There are plenty of amazing people on social media that do a fantastic job of this. But, there are also people (probably someone is coming to your mind right now) who have suddenly turned into a coach before your eyes on Instagram or Facebook one day.

You don’t need to do this and please dont let it stop you from microblogging! Just be you. Just share your reality. The authentic experience you are having as a creator, a business owner, a human being. You will probably end up inspiring others anyway because you are putting yourself out there and being the true, beautiful you.

 -A

P.S. In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing my pick of the top authentic Instagrammers who microblog. Be sure to subscribe to The Bi-Weekly Creative below so you don’t miss when I post this!

Photo by ANGELA FRANKLIN on Unsplash

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